Each year, Special Collections at RISD Library hosts a juried student artists' book contest to promote engagement with the book arts, investigation of the Library's artists' book collection, and creative production in the book form at RISD. The contest and accompanying exhibition attract between 30 to 60 submissions from RISD undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students. All of the entries are displayed in the annual Library exhibit. A team of RISD faculty members and professional artists serves as jurors, selecting prize winners from the submissions. All prizes are purchase awards, and the selected student-made artists' books become part of the Library's permanent Artists' Book collection.
We acknowledge the long-term collaboration and friendship between the late Jan Baker, former Graphic Design Professor and Laurie Whitehill, the former Special Collections Librarian. Both have been dedicated to the research, teaching, and making of artists’ books at RISD.
To honor their legacy and their combined 60 years of dedication and passion in the field of Book Arts, we are implementing the Baker & Whitehill Student Artists’ Book Contest in their names with the 5th contest. The aim of this competition is to encourage faculty in all mediums at RISD to use the Artists’ Book Collection as inspiration for their classes; in addition, for students to be stimulated by the collection to create their own Artists’ Books.